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iFi audio Pro iDSD (Official) - NEW Firmware - MQA and more.

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  1. youurayy
    USB Regen (and similar products) don't make a difference for a DAC which contains the same filtering, reclocking and isolating capability (and more)

    CAPS (and similar source) don't make a difference if your PC is beefy enough and has enough spare capacity (CPU power / context switches / interrupts / etc.).

    So this is still an enigma to me why people find some sources better than others (considering all those sources can push the adequate PCM stream over the USB in a timely manner).
  2. project86 Contributor
    It's just one of those things. Some folks claim all properly built DACs should sound identical. In practice, that has not been my experience, and it probably isn't yours either (or else why would you have a $2500 DAC instead of a much cheaper alternative). Same with all amps sounding the same - some people swear that's the case, even across different topologies. To me that sounds absurd.

    So just extrapolate your feelings about how those "bits are bits" or "watts are watts" people might be mistaken, and apply it to transports. Some think it is noise related, some think jitter, some have other theories. All of this has been debated ad nauseum so I don't expect you to change your mind based on my post here.... but to say bits is bits and fail to recognize that it also involves a time domain seems a bit misguided.

    I just think we all have things we believe and things we dismiss, and we have to recognize that sometimes it's not worth arguing over. I personally draw the line at magic rocks, extreme vibration reduction (cable stands and $8k mag-lev audio racks), weird room acoustic treatments (Novum, Synergistic Research, etc), and plenty of other things that don't appeal to me. But I recognize that some think I'm crazy for using decent cables, quality amplification, and expensive DACs. And yes, different transports sound different to me.... not sure I can explain it, but that's my experience.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  3. youurayy
    Everything you write about -- analog cables, DACs, racks, room treatments -- I agree with, these are analog (or complex digital) domain and incredibly complex -- with the single exception of the bits carried over a digital transport. And by no means I discount that other people can see (hear) differences in there, but I'm just trying to understand myself why that may be. (The time domain argument doesn't work here I believe -- the data is buffered, delivered thru USB, CRC-checked for errors -- buffered on the DAC side, decoded, and clocked using the DAC's precise clock source/time domain.) The human brain, as complex as it is, and being the place where our personal reality is eventually composed/generated based on the input stimuli, may on the subconscious level interpret something, which is on the conscious level perceived like a new/better transport, to then give us the feeling of actually improved sound quality. We can call this placebo, but if it works, it's just as legit as the real thing.
  4. datasyd
    I am in complete agreement with you. The combo of both Pro iCAN and Pro iDSD is simply astonishing. I have a Micro iDSD BL as well as both Pro units. The Micro's signature is enjoyable and I'm happy with the purchase. But if you have the money the combination of both Pro devices takes you to another level. Audio maths says you spend a lot of money for incremental benefits. Keep that maths for other products because ifi shatters it with two products that in combination astound me day after day. I have attached a pic of my setup. ifi EK.jpg
  5. project86 Contributor
    I think you might be overly confident about the level of error correction taking place in the transport-to-DAC pipeline. iFi actually has a decent article about it HERE. I don't know if the linked info is enough to convince, but it does perhaps suggest some mechanism by which one transport could be superior to another.

    Nice looking rig there. Those iFi stands integrate very nicely with the stack.
    datasyd, flyte3333 and youurayy like this.
  6. youurayy
    Thanks for that!
  7. rrjay
    The issue with PCM 768K only offering Bit-Perfect filtering has to do with the sampling rate.

    Bit-Perfect filtering is present all sampling rates. The other filters only work for PCM at 384K or lower. So you problem has nothing to do the the input setting (it's just that when on XLR input, you're not sampling at 768K, but 384K or lower, which again is why the other filter options are available).

    Similarly, conversion to DSD is not available when sampling at 768K, but 384K or lower, so it will only offer "DSD Remaster OFF" when sampling greater than 384K.

    If your source is upsampling to greater than 384K, then Pro iDSD will see a sampling rate too great to offer anything other than simple Bit-Perfect filter and DSD Remaster OFF. If you lower your source sampling rate to 384K or lower, all filter options and DSD conversion options will be open on the Pro iDSD.
  8. KotBegemot

    Thanks , I ve figured it out already..... Played with sampling rates in my mac MIDI settings and all is working well now as far as that filters and DSD.. The dac is phenomenal , just little too sweet , even in the soilid state mode....Its in my main reference rig, not using headphones..Appreciate your reply and help nonetheless! :) Kind regards!
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  9. datasyd
    It looks totally boss, although I do wish the Pro iRack was stronger.
  10. Rob N Contributor
    Totally agree an excellent combination
    datasyd likes this.
  11. mt-hifidelity
    Lovely collection of vintage radios there.
    Are those the Denon 7100's?
    What settings are you using on your pro dsd and ican? (tube, tube+, gto, etc...). Just curious.
    How much benefit do you get from using the iCan versus listening plugged in directly to the pro iDSD? I'm debating adding the iCan to my iDSD. I think I need it for the Abyss.
    datasyd likes this.
  12. datasyd
    I owned the Denon D7000's for about 8 years. The replacement, for the past two years, is what you are looking at; it's the D7200.

    Settings guide:
    *Almost exclusively Tube.
    *Almost always GTO, settings permitting.
    * DSD 1024 remastering often, although MQA music and normal Tidal 44.1kHz tracks are probably best played without using this feature -- I should probably leave final judgement to when ifi Audio provides us with the promised firmware; it's also fun to play around and compare.
    *Almost always XBass at 40 Hz on my headphones, although it varies a little more on the floor-standing Monitor Audio GS60 speakers I use in the lounge. I should emphasise, the ifi units have brought my home stereo a new lease on life, they are now just delightful; the delivery is quite similar to what it does with to headphones.
    *Almost always 3D 60/30+, although I vary this a little on my home stereo, sometimes because the variety is fun, sometimes to improve the soundstage. These features are not toys. They provide meaningful benefit.
    *Gain often set to 18dB but it varies. Then I listen to something like Muse - Madness and wonder if that bass response has altered my chemical composition. Songs with a bass response like that on this rig leave you needing a 5 minute breather to take in how remarkable it all was.

    I bought the ifi Micro iDSD, then purchased the Pro iDSD a couple of months later and also the day it turned up in Australia. The Micro is a very capable DAC and amp, particularly since it is also somewhat portable. If you asked me it's weaknesses I'd note that some music is just a little too demanding, eg. the realism of a couple of trumpet notes on Michael Jackson - Off The Wall on DSD 128 album, which I love playing. But most of the time it's both enjoyable and highly musical. Enter the Pro iDSD and it's a game changer. The Pro iDSD is much more neutral than the what you might experience from the Micro iDSD. It's also a much more capable DAC. It eats that Michael Jackson album for breakfast (it's an awesome album to demonstrate clarity of sound and DAC capabilities). But its amp really benefits from the Pro iCAN combination. You just can't avoid concluding that in combination the ifi Pro units will wow you with their musicality. In my mind, it's seriously twice as good with the Pro iCAN and while I'd quite happily listen to the Micro iDSD BL on its own, especially if I was listening to Tidal MQA tracks, I've almost never wanted to listen to the Pro iDSD without adding the Pro iCAN, mostly because I know what I'd otherwise be missing.

    I do wonder about the Abyss Headphones. I'm very curious about the Abyss Diana's. Take into account that I only intended to buy the Micro iDSD BL, but listening to the iCAN was one of those moments in your life when you realise you just have to have it. :)

    Pictured my rig pre Pro iDSD. ifi iCAN Pro Micro iDSD BL _DSF0895 W2000.jpg
  13. iFi audio
    Ulala, this looks tasty!
    iFi audio Stay updated on iFi audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/iFiAudio/ https://twitter.com/ifiaudio https://www.instagram.com/ifiaudio/ https://ifi-audio.com/ info@ifi-audio.com
    datasyd likes this.
  14. SuperRex
    My newly purchased Pro iDSD have no audio signal for left earphone using 2.5 mm plug. How should I have it fixed?
  15. iFi audio
    It's difficult to diagnose from here. Have you tried other headphones and cables? If we're past that and you know that the socket is in 100% faulty, please shoot us a message here:

    iFi audio Stay updated on iFi audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/iFiAudio/ https://twitter.com/ifiaudio https://www.instagram.com/ifiaudio/ https://ifi-audio.com/ info@ifi-audio.com
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